Friday, May 8, 2009

21 Examples of 21st Century Libraries

Speakers: Kim Bolan Cullin, Library Consultant; Rob Cullin, Founder, Evanced Solutions. Bolan and Cullin are authors of Technology Made Simple.
I left another session to catch some of this (why do these conflicts always happen - you want to be in two three sessions at the same time, must be that our MLA planners did a good job choosing topics), and I did not see anyone blogging, so I'll try to blog a little, and post a link the presenter (Kimberly Bolan) promissed.

1st topic: spaces. Kimberly spoke about how library spaces have changed or need to change as our libraries change.
2nd topic: green library.

Concepts: browsable library, good signage and way finding; flexible library - lightweight yet durable chairs, tables, stacks on casters); small meeting, study, quiet rooms; separate teen libraries, with their own activity space; "Zoned" children's spaces (by developmental stages) - different size furniture, etc.

9: Signage: needs to be planned in advance, but can leave some signage for a few month later when you see the use patterns. Flexible signage: make it easy to change, e.g. painted detail signs would be easier to change; digital signage.

10: Happiness Cycle: put the customer first, and you'll be happy too.

Be more business minded: balance community needs with library mission. Suggested that libraries can charge for some things (Rob Cullin).

11: New staff models: hire for attitude. Libraries hire people people: you need to love people more than you like books to be a good library staff member.

12: Food, phones and fun: do not ban cell phones, ask to put them on silent, have a cell phone booth. Healthy snacks in vending machines. Regarding noise: think about zoning - create a quiet zone, a community talking spot where youput a sign " by entering this area you agree that people can talk to you".

13: Multi-age Governance: teens on library boards; adult advisory boards.
14: More "Liberal" Meeting Space Policies. Open the meeting spaces for private and for profit groups and charge a modest fee, especially if your meeting space is underutilized.
15: Demise of the big service desk.
16: Customer convenience: one stop shopping - a vending machine for office supplies - pencils, pens etc; drive through holds pick-up or ATM style pick-up, locker systems. An audience member suggested mail (regional centers used to). Drive - through coffee draws people into the library.
17: Collaboration, Outreach and Partnership. Bring library service to schools, Wii to a senior center, etc.
18: Supported Self Service. Self check helped by staff.
19: Virtual Spaces. Web.2 is dynamic. Reviews in the catalog (if your ILS is not offering it, try Chili Fresh).
20: Rethinking Tradition. How you lay out computers (collaborative computers), think about circulating laptops at your library, put a flat panel screens for information, sound domes instead of headphones.
21: Advanced Communication. Need faster communication method among staff, especially in a bigger building. Reach out using a Face book page, Twitter.

Ramsey County Library (MN), Maplewood branch implemented most of those changes, and their use increased very substantially.

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